By Alexandria Gamlin
AFROPUNK FEST 2012 has been receiving all types of crazy awesome press, post festival. One of the biggest "horray!"'s came from a stellar write up from Matt Trammell at Rolling Stone. Matt has always been a friend of AFROPUNK and his re-cap of the festival was thoughtful, vivid and made us a little weepy that the festival was over. But one thing stood out -- the first line of his piece was that our slogan "the other black experience" was an outdated one. From the looks of the festival and what AFROPUNK stands for these day, he has a very valid point. AFROPUNK is a destination for alternative black culture, yes, but it has evolved into a platform for alternative culture in general. What it means to be an "alternative" gets sticky because THERE THEY GO, using labels to define individuality.
Afropunk began as a rebel cry for Black punks, and provided a home to express otherness--for Black people. Black people are usually left out of the conversation when it comes to alternative culture, period. (think how black women were excluded and severely overlooked during the women's movement in the 70s). But it's 2012, baby. What does the "other black experience" really mean these days. Hasn't our whole mission been to have our experiences counted among the general alternative communities? Have we succeeded? Is it time for a new slogan? Or should we still make it clear that while everyone is invited to support and join our movement, the black experience is still a separate one?
Check out the awesome piece in Rolling Stone (woohoo!) and tell us what you think. Matt Trammell, you ole thought provoker! Look what you've started now!